Wow! Really? It's been a MONTH since I wrote??? How is that possible. I'm a wicked blog-slacker. Grovel grovel and what not. OK, on to the update.
Happy Christmas to everyone!!! As much as I was dreading it, Christmas has been a pretty amazing experience here in the UK. Chad and I chill out very well together, and yesterday was the epitome of our chill-energies merging. We slept in a bit and made coffee and lounged around for a little while while pecan sticky buns were doing their thing in the oven. After a leisurely walk with the Nug, we came back to eat said sticky buns and open our gifts. THANK YOU to the many of you who sent cards and gifts! It realllllly made our day to have care packages full of mementos from home (but are sorry for the HUGE postage charges! Jeez!). Chad hit the jackpot this year with a new guitar and a sweet pair of boots to replace the Keens that got a bit waterlogged this autumn. I scored pretty hard with a new coat, a jewelery tree, and not one but TWO new cookbooks. My sister also totally rocked the house by sending us an enormous amount of pb cups (one of the things from home we've been missing - the English are not fans of pb and chocolate together). We had a few Skype dates with family and ate a huge meal of steak and Yorkshire pudding, and topped off the day with the newest Harry Potter film. All in all, it was a totally excellent day. Apart from a few twinges of homesickness, I was really really really happy to be spending the holiday with my favorite person in the world, cooking, and generally vegging out, especially after a particularly hectic week at work. So, surprise, surprise, Christmas rocked this year. Sigh of relief.
So today, as many of you know, is my birthday. What you may not know, however is that it's also a national holiday here in Britain. Yay for the whole country having my birthday off! Seriously, though, it's been yet another awesome day. So far today, I've slept in, eaten pb cups for breakfast (thank you, Kt!!!!), gone for a mini run (my first in over a week since I got struck down with the stupid sleep-stealing cold from heck), and finished Wally Lamb's new book. In the works for this evening is artichoke heart and carmelized onion pizza, brownies with ice cream, and the new Wolverine film. I'm already planning Bloody Marys and a huge brunch for tomorrow. Ahhhh, holiday.
There aren't any huge updates in life since the last post. We're still living in Keynsham, I'm still working, and Chad's still studying. His last class of the semester was last Friday, so now he has until the 14th of January to finish his three final papers - upon which his cumulative grades for the courses will be based...but no pressure, Chad! He's actually doing magnificently, having finished one paper completely (topic: violent death in "media" through the ages), completed about half of another, and researching the third (topic: the missing body - how to memorialize the dead when there are no remains to bury or cremate). If it was me, you can bet I wouldn't even be starting them until January.
As for me, working retail at Christmas has been...um....well...interesting? You can bet I'm going to be much nicer during shopping trips from now on. I'm really loving the girls I work with, and being a busy shopping season has kept things hopping in the shop. Plus, we've been giving out Lindt truffles to our customers (read: forgetting to offer them to customers and therefore eating them ourselves). So life isn't so bad ;). For our Christmas "do" at work, we all got dressed up and went out on the town for tapas and dancing...all of this in the midst of my heinous, sleep-stealing cold, hence the need for a super chill holiday. We also did a very good job at indulging in pretty much everything we felt like eating over the last week or so, so now that I'm back to almost full health, it's time to get running again. I can't believe how fast my stamina slackened after now running for a week! I felt every step of those 2 miles today after running 11 a couple of weeks ago!
I hope all of you had a simply amazing holiday. I've been planning a fun food update for the blog, so look for that soon, and I promise to try to keep on top of things. We've got some fun (and chill) plans for New Years Eve, and we're looking forward to a trip up to Shrewsbury sometime in January. Late Feb will find us in Rome, followed by the half marathon in early March, and possibly a visit from my Dad and Mim in early Spring! So lots to look forward to, lots to think about. Love to all of you and hope you all have super celebrations of the new year, in whatever way you choose.